Carrington College put together this info graphic to let Licensed Practical or Vocational nurses (PLN/LVN) know about the opportunities of becoming a registered nurse (RN), but we think it also makes a great case for nursing in general. Here are our top 7 reasons why becoming a nurse may be a smart career move.
Growing opportunities. In 2014 RNs held 2.8 million jobs, the highest employment among all health care professionals. That number is expected to grow to nearly 3.2 million by 2024 so you won’t have to worry about finding a job. Of those 61% work in hospitals, whereas only 31% of LPN/LVN work in hospitals.
Interactions with Patients. While RNs have more patient care than LPN/LVNs, all are making a difference in the lives of their patients. In addition to care in the medical setting, nurses can also work with patients on general wellness, illness management and home treatment.
Ability to specialize. With additional certifications RNs can specialize in a number of different areas including: pain management, gerontology (another field that is in high demand), midwifery, critical care, emergency care and more.
Room for career advancement. Making the choice to go into nursing can be the first step towards a number of different career fields. If you burn out on nursing you have the opportunity to move into management of other nurses, slide into the business portion of the medical care field by managing a center or chronic care operation, or going back to school and teaching others how to become nurses. If you continue to enjoy patent interactions and want to take it to the next level, you can work towards becoming a Nurse Practitioner.
Flexibility. Nursing provides the option to work a number of different schedules, from 12 hour shifts that give you a few days off at a time, to more normal 9 to 5 hours in a doctor office. Unlike other career fields you can select a time frame and a position that works for your life style.
Travel. Nurses are in demand all over the US and around the world. If travel is something that interests you there are many programs that can place you in short stints just about anywhere you’d want to go. It can be a great way to see the world, all expenses paid!
Pay. The Bureau of Labor Statics reported that the median salary for a registered nurse was $66,640 in 2014. That’s come up form an average salary of $59,710 in 2006 and is predicted to keep rising. The best-paid 10 percent of RNs made more than $98,880, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $45,880.
Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses are paid less then RNs and have a median average of $43,420. But RNs made less money than both occupational therapists, at an average of $80,000 and physical therapists with an average salary of $83,940. However, RNs have many options for advancement and a salary increase. With further education, RNs can become nurse practitioners and bring home an average salary of around $97,990.
If you think becoming a nurse may be the career for you, check out our nursing quiz!